30 May 2016

Memorial Day

all photos taken at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO, overlooking the Mississippi River, in the late winter.

In Memorial of all those who have given their lives for our country, so that we may continue to have our freedom. Thank you to all who serve, who have served, and who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

25 April 2016


 One thing I find myself into these days is puzzles. No doubt inspired by Elise Cripe who I follow and who has gone through her own puzzle making days. My pics are not the best, with the glare and all, as I sit in the dining room under our chandelier and work. My first one, top,  was by far the fastest for me, in about three days, and the second, below, took about a week.

I have heard and figured out that the best way to start is by finding all the edges, then finding like colors and slowly going that way. That method has helped me on the first two but does not seem to be making a difference on my most recent endeavor.

Don't just let the nicest things sit there, or hide. Use the good things.
On puzzles. Literally and in real life.
The internet is not real life. It is curated, only a partial look at real life.

What is your set of tactics for solving a puzzle?

22 April 2016

Morning view

I've been meaning to post here though I haven't forgotten about this space. I have felt an awakening this spring since the weather is so good. We've had a slow spring and the blooms have just lasted so long. I feel equally pulled between spring cleaning and garden work and general relaxing, reading, and artmaking. I've been doing a little of them all, including also working on puzzles, which for me is surprisingly therapeutic, calming, and helps me transition from a work day. I include all these things, and more really, as forms of self-care, but what I have learned recently, which fits in to my philosophy, is that when self-care is integrated in my life, instead of added as an afterthought or an extra burden I must do, I live a more intentional life and peaceful, since the care is built in.

08 March 2016

signs of spring

 It's official: when the crocus is up and the onions start to stand up straight - that's when you know the days are getting just a liiiiittle bit longer and the weather will warm ever so slightly. It's when you want to start making your garden planting list, order some seeds, and figure out where it all will go. This year our garden will have a different configuration - mostly still in the same spot but actually a little smaller. We were running ourselves ragged trying to do it all last year and the garden ended up getting weedy. We would rather not have weeds and decided to make the footprint of the garden smaller in order that we could concentrate on the vegetables in a more focused effort.

06 March 2016

joyful list

 In response to Natalie Creates' blog, I am posting my own joyful list:
--eggs from my chickens
--discovering instagram
--meals with family members
--a conversation that helps me feel more inspired
--the joy of life
--good articles: Be Happy, When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense.
--want to see this movie: Poverty
--Elise's list of 30 good things for her birthday. I may just do one for my upcoming birthday.
--discovering Mark's Daily Apple website a few weeks ago for inspiration
 --did I mention eggs? Eggs for breakfast, over easy is my favorite. :)
--Terri Savelle Foy's youtube videos: she's so upbeat and her enthusiasm is contagious.
--want to try my hand at springerle cookies sometime
--spring cleaning / trying to keep up with 40 bags for 40 days Lenten challenge. I have about 20 bags-worth trashed, recycled, or waiting for donation
--I feel good when I can make lists on daily and weekly goals
--a good hot cup of tea
--unexpected discoveries
--a friend's 'best ever gluten free chocolate cake'
--balancing my checkbook with good results
--planning to travel
--praying for the people in my life
--the joy of Sunday Mass and a good homily
--praying my daily Rosary in the car
--remembering to make a little artwork everyday

28 February 2016

chestnut puree

We made baked zucchini with chestnut puree (I made the puree and he made everything else :), and pan-seared chicken with paprika and turmeric on a bed of shirataki noodles (made from konjac root). They are gluten and grain free; basically a vegetable noodle. So good.

I had never had chestnuts before, so when I found some at my local co-op I bought about 1/4 lb. I found instructions to roast them in the oven (maybe 30-40 minutes) until the shells are crisper and then popped them off. The nut inside is still hard and inedible at this point. I saw recipes to make a puree or make them roasted. I went with the puree: boiled in chicken broth for close to an hour (had to replenish the broth several times). Then blended with heavy cream, and a smidge nutmeg and salt. Wow is the taste - rich, creamy, savory, and surprising. The consistency is like hummus, so they paired well with crackers. We also combined with the zucchini based on the recipe I used. (recipe courtesy of Sally Fallon Morell's Nourishing Traditions cookbook.)

26 February 2016

last Saturday

We took a long 2 1/2 hour long hike on Hamburg and Lost Valley trails. The weather was in the mid 70s, sunny and beautiful. (A great predecessor to a snow day, for sure.)  There were lots of other people walking too, and bicyclists whizzing by.  Then we went to have a delicious chicken dinner with vegetable soup and roasted potatoes. Just perfect to rebuild the protein.

24 February 2016

snow day (again!)

We have 5-6 inches of a wet slushy snow, but with lots of wind! So pretty because it has caught on everything. I will relish my day off. :)